Pens prospect Pouliot cited for public drunkenness

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Derrick Pouliot’s in the news, but for all the wrong reasons.

Pouliot, the defenseman Pittsburgh took eighth overall at the 2012 draft, has been cited for public drunkenness stemming from an incident over the weekend, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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Wilkes-Barre City police cited Pouliot early Sunday morning, according to a police report.

Officers responded to a verbal dispute between Pouliot and a taxi driver about an unpaid fare at 1:10 a.m. at Hazle and Gilligan streets and found the 21-year-old defenseman to be intoxicated, police said. Pouliot was taken to the police station and issued a non-traffic citation.

He was released to a sober adult, according to the report.

Pouliot, 21, failed to make the Penguins roster out of training camp this year, despite scoring seven points in 34 games last season. Pens head coach Mike Johnston offered a blunt critique of Pouliot’s play during the exhibition campaign, saying there were plenty of things the youngster needed to work on.

“He’s not a regular NHL player,” Johnston said, per Pensburgh. “He’s a guy who has played games.”

Pouliot has a goal and six points through eight games for Wilkes-Barre this season. He addressed the citation during practice on Thursday.

“I made a mistake. It was a bad decision and I’d just like to apologize to everybody that was involved in the incident,” Pouliot said, per the Citizens’ Voice. “I also apologize to my teammates, the coaching staff, and the Penguins organization for what happened.

“It was a mistake. It was a bad decision. Hopefully, I’ll use it as a learning experience and be able to move on and continue to help this team.”

It’s unclear if Pouliot will face any punishment from the Pittsburgh organization. GM Jim Rutherford told the Post-Gazette “it’s an unfortunate situation, but they’re on top of it [in Wilkes-Barre],” adding that assistant GM Bill Guerin is currently with the AHL club.